Pastalaya is a version of the Cajun Jambalaya, but the rice is swapped out for pasta. Crawfish Pastalaya is just what it sounds like, all the regular flavors of a pastalaya, but instead of using chicken we use crawfish (and shrimp).
Pastalaya is a very versatile dish, in that in the typical Cajun way lots of ingredients can be added and substituted and it still taste absolutely amazing.
It's a very hearty dish and is typically a favorite in the colder months, but we enjoy it year round. When it's shrimp season, or crawfish season or if you are like us and have an abundance in the freezer, crawfish pastalaya can be made at any time.
Fat Tuesday is a good day, or for a Mardi Gras party!
❤️ Why you'll love it
- There's no way you'll be hungry after eating this dish. It's hearty, full of those Cajun flavors and you'll be rubbing your belly with satisfaction after.
- The use of andouille sausage really adds some great flavor.
- The pasta can be any pasta really. I like to use fettuccine or bowtie pasta in mine.
- It's a great way to use up the leftover crawfish tails from your crawfish boil.
- Peeled Shrimp (medium)
- Andouille Sausage
- Sweet Peppers
- Creole Seasoning (or Cajun spice)
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Crawfish Tails
- Seafood Stock
- Fire Roasted tomatoes
- Fettuccine Pasta
- Fresh Parsley
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities.
- Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add salt. Boil the fettuccine noodles in the salted water for about 8 minutes (slightly undercooked) then drain.
- Step 2: While the noodles are cooking add the olive oil to a large cast iron Dutch oven and add the peeled shrimp, andouille sausage, onion, sweet peppers and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the shrimp is pink on both sides and the onions tender.
- Step 3: Add the seafood stock, fire roasted tomatoes, crawfish tails, Creole seasoning and salt and pepper.
- Step 4: Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer.
- Step 5: Add the fettuccine noodles to the simmering liquid and stir well to combine evenly.
- Step 6: When the pot is nice and bubbly remove from the heat and add a lid to the Dutch oven. Allow to sit for 15 minutes without removing the lid.
- Step 7: After it has cooled somewhat garnish with parsley and serve.
Hint: I like to make my own homemade seafood stock. I take the leftover peelings from a seafood boil (crawfish, shrimp, crab - whatever I have) and I boil together with some vegetable scraps. Boil for a few hours then strain. I usually keep a few containers of this in the freezer for making my seafood dishes. It makes a huge difference.
🔄 Substitutions and Variations
- Bell Peppers - if you don't have the sweet peppers you could use red bell pepper or green bell pepper.
- Green Onions - sprinkle with chopped green onions at the end.
- Heavy Cream - add a little heavy cream to the liquids, you'll have to allow to simmer a little longer though and this may toughen the seafood.
- Tomato Paste - Add a little tomato pasta at the beginning with the onions, if you prefer more of a tomatoey taste.
- Parmesan Cheese - Sprinkle with parmesan cheese to serve.
- Fresh thyme - Add a little fresh thyme with the other seasonings.
- Lump Crabmeat - Add a little lump crabmeat, if you're like me and happen to sometimes have this stuff laying around, lol.
- Seafood seasoning - Add a little seafood seasoning, or crab boil to the water when cooking the pasta for extra flavor.
- Cajun seasoning - Use Cajun seasoning instead of Creole seasoning - it's practically the same.
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I like to use a Dutch Oven for this recipe, you could use a cast iron pot too though or any other heavy bottomed pot for even cooking - it definitely needs a lid.
If your pot does not have a lid you could cover the pot with heavy duty aluminum foil.
Other Crawfish Recipes You Might Like
- Crawfish Enchiladas - Delicious enchiladas stuffed with crawfish tails, rice and other yummy Mexican style ingredients. All topped with an enchilada sauce and cheese.
- Crawfish Etouffee - A Cajun classic, buttery and full of seasoning.
- Crawfish Dip - Perfect for game day. Make a crawfish dip for the next superbowl.
- Crawfish Bread - Classic French bread topped with a tasty crawfish cream sauce and cheese.
You should also try this One Pot Turkey Pasta - it's great with chicken too.
Once cooled completely store the crawfish pastalaya in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you already froze the seafood before cooking again then you shouldn't freeze again. However, if the seafood was all fresh (not frozen at all) then this recipe will freeze well.
Expert Tip: Using crawfish that you have leftover from a crawfish boil will give you much more flavor in your dish. If you don't have that availability and are using store bought frozen crawfish I recommend you buy Louisiana crawfish (not imported from China) AND you'll probably need extra seasoning.
Make sure not to overcook the pasta. Al dente pasta or even a little bit less cooked is important so that it can continue to cook in the pot with the other ingredients and will soak up the fluids and flavors.
I usually just use what I have in the house, it's not overly important. It is usually fettuccine or bowtie pasta.
Definitely, if not andouille sausage then use a smoked sausage like polska kielbasa. That has great flavor too, without the heat.
Pastalaya is a version of New Orleans oldest rice dishes - Jambalaya. Replace the rice for pasta and bam. You have pastalaya.
If you’ve tried this Crawfish Pastalaya Recipe or any other great recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section below, how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers!
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Crawfish Pastalaya is a Cajun recipe, a change up of the familiar Jambalaya, but using pasta instead of rice. Using crawfish and shrimp instead of chicken and pork really gives it a unique and flavorful taste.
- ½ lb Peeled Shrimp, medium
- ½ lb Andouille Sausage, sliced
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 4 Mini Sweet Peppers, chopped and deseeded
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
- 2 Teaspoons Salt, divided
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 lb Crawfish Tails
- 1 Cup Seafood Stock
- 1 (14.5oz) Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 12oz Fettuccine Noodles
- Chopped Parsley, garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the fettuccine noodles and cook for about 8 minutes. Remove, drain water and set aside.
- While the fettuccine is cooking add the olive oil to a heavy dutch oven and over medium-high heat add the shrimp, andouille sausage, onion, sweet peppers and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the shrimp is pink and the onions tender.
- Add the seafood stock, canned tomatoes, crawfish tails, Creole seasoning and salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer while you finish off the pasta.
- Add the fettuccine to the pot with the other pastalaya ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Continue with the heat until it's nice and bubbly, then turn off the heat. Add the lid to the Dutch oven and allow to sit, covered, for 15 minutes without removing the lid again.
- Everything should soak and mesh together. The pasta will cook just a little more, the fluids will be soaked up and the dish will thicken.
- After it has cooled somewhat sprinkle with chopped parsley to garnish.
I used a stock I made from peeling the shrimp (from a shrimp boil). It gave great flavor to the dish. I highly recommend doing this with your seafood shells. Using store bought seafood stock is ok, but not as good as making your own after having a seafood boil.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 311Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 156mgSodium 1614mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 26g
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